Japanese Private Rocket Launched Successfully for 1st Time

Science Society Technology

Taiki, Hokkaido, May 4 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese startup launched a small observation rocket on Saturday in the first successful liftoff of a rocket developed single-handedly by a private-sector company in Japan.

The rocket, Momo-3, blasted off from a launch site in Taiki, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, and reached an altitude of about 100 kilometers, believed to be in outer space, according to the Taiki-based company, Intersteller Technologies Inc.

"It was a complete success. We'll work to achieve stable launches and mass-produce (rockets) in quick cycles," said entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, who founded the company.

Momo-3 is a single-stage rocket 10 meters in height and 50 centimeters in diameter, and weighing 1,150 kilograms. It uses ethanol as fuel.

On Saturday, the first launch attempt at 5 a.m. (9 p.m. Friday GMT) was called off at the last minute due to the detection of an abnormality. The cause of the problem was identified before the second attempt.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press